Non-Target Military

Hey all,

So I have posted here about a complete career pivot before. I am currently a Nuclear Police Officer with a Bachelors in Security and Intelligence with a terrible GPA.  I was in the Army Infantry for 5 years made Sergeant and had a combat Deployment. Well just recently I decided that I am going back to school for accounting and finance through Phoenix University Online. I have already made the deans list which I guess in the grand scheme of things isn't that great. I am also in the last portion of the hiring process for Edward Jones, now I know this isn't investment banking and more of financial management but I am wondering if this works for getting my feet wet and trying to network my way into an investment banking position. I am also going to be taking a bunch of the LinkedIn course on PE and IB as I can get my hands on.  I would love to hear everyones thoughts on this, also after my accounting degree I will be going to get either my MBA or Master of Finance (thoughts on that would be great too).  I am an open to all suggestions, thoughts, and brutal honesty.  IB is where I want to be I just don't know, being out of my element here if I am on the right track to a successful career.

Most Helpful

Want to be as upfront and honest with you as possible, apologies in advance if any of this comes across as brash.

Investment banking culture is pretty elitist, so a degree from Phoenix University Online isn't going to impress anybody. Also nobody really cares about LinkedIn certifications. 

Since you have several years of professional experience in the military, your best bet might honestly be to go straight to business school. If you get accepted into a top 20 MBA program, you'll be able to enter banking as an associate. You'll also have access to a very structured recruiting process. Not gonna lie though, your odds of getting into a top program [as an enlisted dude/low GPA/non-target undergrad] are probably not great. If you absolutely crush the GMAT though there is certainly hope.

Tbh I think your best bet is to apply for the rotational programs offered by several of the banks - I know a couple vets that did the BofA and UBS rotational programs and ultimately landed full-time banking gigs afterwards. From what I understand they're like ~6 month programs where you're basically an intern performing stints in the various branches of the bank - i.e. sales & trading, investment banking, risk management, etc. 

Hope this helps, best of luck!!


MBA is definitely the route from here. Aim for a top 20 program and get the best GMAT you can possibly get. Reach out to the MBA veteran clubs at the prospective schools too. Unlike what the above commenter has said, non-target undergrad/low GPA shouldn't be an impossible barrier (and they can suck my d&b about caring if you are enlisted vs. commissioned).


Top 20 MBA will open the doors, otherwise a veteran rotational program, but you will probably not get an IB offer. Could potentially work a few years there then try to lateral over, but tougher. Top 20 mba is most straightforward option. I wouldn’t mention University of phoenix anywhere on your resume to mba programs or banks.


I would say in the current state, you have zero chance. UofPhoenix isn't even in the realm of Targets. Your best bet is to go a Top ~20 MBA program and do Associate hiring. Also, use the veteran network as much as possible. DO NOT got to Edward Jones. Once you pick a finance career path, you are almost certainly stuck in it.


Are you saying don’t go because it’s a shit job or because I’ll be stuck. At this rate I’ll never break into any finance position I mean I’m 31 doing a life changing event. I have 0 finance experience. And I know Phoenix is a joke but I can’t just pick up leave my job from a financial point you know ?


Both reasons. In IB we mostly work in Coverage groups (CnR, TMT, Energy). If I had to go back and do it again. I would pick what group I was interested in and work in the industry coverage group that I want to be in. Example, TMT (DoorDash) Energy (Chevron) and do a T20 PMBA (to keep food on the table) and start applying.


A MBA is your only way boss! You’re entering a world where an idiot with a English Degree from Harvard, will be seen in a better light than a sociable genius with a Finance degree from IU Kelley. It is what it is. I recommend networking hard with all the veterans at firms you’re targeting. HR Managers will try to gas light  you as if they give a fuck about your military experience, but unless they were a vet too…..they really fucking don’t. 


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